Lingerie That Subverts the Male Gaze, in Cotton and Lace

Right before Valentine’s Day, it behooves us all to revisit the 2003 Onion story Women Now Empowered by Everything a Woman Does. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since a parody news publication delivered this wisdom, but here we are, rereading perfect lines like: “Today, a woman can empower herself through actions as seemingly inconsequential as driving her children to soccer practice or watching the Oxygen network.”

It is true — and good, I should point out — that this day and age accommodates great fluidity in what feminism can mean. It’s certainly better than the alternative, which we all know to be an oppressive mess. But what about the upcoming Valentine’s Day, that heteronormative festival of receiving flowers, eating “prix fixe dinners,” and (sigh) donning uncomfortable, vampy lingerie in order to perform sexiness? Can these activities be reclaimed for women, too? Can Valentine’s Day really empower us, just like The Onion says?

Continue reading on The Cut here.

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